Ironspark
A teen outcast must work together with new friends to keep her family and town safe from murderous Fae while also dealing with panic attacks, family issues, and a lesbian love triangle in C.M. McGuires's kick-butt paranormal YA debut, Ironspark. For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her family into hiding, Bryn has devoted herself to learning everything she can about killing the Fae. Now it’s time to put those lessons to use.Then the Court Fae finally show up, and Bryn realizes she can’t handle this on her own. Thankfully, three friends offer to help: Gwen, a kindhearted water witch; Dom, a new foster kid pulled into her world; and Jasika, a schoolmate with her own grudge against the Fae.But trust is hard-won, and what little Bryn has gained is put to the test when she uncovers a book of Fae magic that belonged to her mother. With the Fae threat mounting every day, Bryn must choose between faith in her friends and power from a magic that could threaten her very humanity.

Ironspark Details

TitleIronspark
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 25th, 2020
PublisherSwoon Reads
ISBN-139781250245267
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, LGBT, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, GLBT, Queer, Fiction, Romance, Fairies, Magic

Ironspark Review

  • rachel ☾
    January 1, 1970
    Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram
  • Caidyn (he/him/his)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!CW: loss of a parent (past, not death), parent with a severe and persistent mental illness, PTSD, anxiety attacks, fire and burning something down, and general scenes of action and violence4.5/5Damn, I was hooked right from the start of this book. It was so much fun to read. The Welsh inspired fae fantasy that didn't glorify them, but showed them for the tricksters that they are. I read this at the same time as Ink & Sigil and, I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!CW: loss of a parent (past, not death), parent with a severe and persistent mental illness, PTSD, anxiety attacks, fire and burning something down, and general scenes of action and violence4.5/5Damn, I was hooked right from the start of this book. It was so much fun to read. The Welsh inspired fae fantasy that didn't glorify them, but showed them for the tricksters that they are. I read this at the same time as Ink & Sigil and, let me tell you, they worked really well together.Bryn hasn't had an easy life. Her mother was kidnapped by the fae, her father was cursed with a mental illness, they moved to get away from it, and she's left taking care of her two brothers. All while trying to learn how to kill the fae that destroyed her family. Also, there's a love triangle that's lesbian and (although no one seems to be mentioning it so far) an ace male character. Do you know how hard it is to find a guy who's an ace on the page? Really hard! So, I was thrilled when the character explicitly said it.This was a fun ride. I loved the mythology and finding things I was familiar with, then other things I wasn't since I'm not as knowledgeable on Welsh fae mythology. It was a really good book with strong friendships and supportive people. It gave me major Raven Cycle vibes (although, yes, I did DNF the series, but I might try it again now). That ending makes me wonder about whether this is going to turn into a series somehow, something I wouldn't be mad about at all.Overall, a fantastic debut I plan on owning!
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  • Ivy Moore
    January 1, 1970
    Rag tag crew, faeries, lesbains... A pErFecT book?
  • Mimi
    January 1, 1970
    3.5
  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, these are the fae you're searching for with a lesbian love-triangle, but the writing is a bit hit-or-miss at times.Spoiler-Free Review: https://amberinoface.wordpress.com/20... I received an ecopy of this book through Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own. Overall, these are the fae you're searching for with a lesbian love-triangle, but the writing is a bit hit-or-miss at times.Spoiler-Free Review: https://amberinoface.wordpress.com/20... I received an ecopy of this book through Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own.
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  • Sara Codair
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review:Ironspark was good, but it didn't immediately suck me in and keep me turning the pages. Still, it was nice to see a story with faeries where it was the main character, not just the side characters, who was queer. The mc was bi or pan. I liked that she wasn't sure which. The same was true for her love interest. About 3/4 of the way through the book, after the girls talked about their identities, another character came I received a free copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review:Ironspark was good, but it didn't immediately suck me in and keep me turning the pages. Still, it was nice to see a story with faeries where it was the main character, not just the side characters, who was queer. The mc was bi or pan. I liked that she wasn't sure which. The same was true for her love interest. About 3/4 of the way through the book, after the girls talked about their identities, another character came out as ace, which made me happy. I want to see more ace rep! I went into reading it expecting a standalone, but the end implies it's the first of a series. I'll read the next book, assuming there is one.
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  • Sacha
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication.Updated 8/26/203.5 stars I'm not sure that I've ever read a YA novel centering on this subject, so I was intrigued by the cool concept alone, and the first chapter got me hooked instantly. It seemed like I was maybe entering into some kind of tangentially Buffy-related space, and I was very into seeing how that character and story line developed. As it tur Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication.Updated 8/26/203.5 stars I'm not sure that I've ever read a YA novel centering on this subject, so I was intrigued by the cool concept alone, and the first chapter got me hooked instantly. It seemed like I was maybe entering into some kind of tangentially Buffy-related space, and I was very into seeing how that character and story line developed. As it turned out, the first chapter was the most gripping - for me - of the work, and while I didn't lose interest entirely after that, I did struggle a bit to stay engaged from about the 40% mark all the way up to the Epilogue (which I thought was great). There are some promising characters, but I had a hard time getting too invested in them (outside of the m.c., who just spent a lot of time dreaming and processing). I wanted to see more development of the ancillary folks, the mom's backstory, and even the shadelings. On a related note, the one shadeling who is a bit more round...ugh. I could not handle the way this character talked, the name it wanted, etc. This character started slowly descending into Jar Jar Binks territory for me at some point, and that became distracting. While I do like that there is some good LGBTQ+ representation here, the conversation around that went from organic (the m.c. talking about a past relationship) to oddly placed - a late-in-the-novel conversation about folks' identities along with a quick lesson on asexuality. I'm SO here for this rep and discussion, but it felt weirdly forced and disconnected to me in this context. There is a great concept here, and this is an enjoyable read, but the characters and story line fell short for me. Since there is a clear setup for a sequel, I'll be interested to see what comes next...
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  • A.M. Rose
    January 1, 1970
    This book is incredible! You need it in your lives! And it’s queer ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜
  • Alexx
    January 1, 1970
    The romance and the characters felt a little lackluster to me (or maybe I just wanted a lot of angst for the romance?? lol), but still, I gotta give kudos to this book and the author because it was action-packed and definitely entertaining! Full review will be posted soon as part of Ironspark Blog Tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. (Actual rating 3.5)Find me elsewhere: Instagram | Twitter | Blog The romance and the characters felt a little lackluster to me (or maybe I just wanted a lot of angst for the romance?? lol), but still, I gotta give kudos to this book and the author because it was action-packed and definitely entertaining! Full review will be posted soon as part of Ironspark Blog Tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. (Actual rating 3.5)Find me elsewhere: Instagram | Twitter | Blog
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    RTC
  • Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
    January 1, 1970
    RTC
  • Paige Green
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.Book: IronsparkAuthor: C.M. McGuireBook Series: StandaloneRating: 4/5Diversity: LGBT characters (f/f and love triangle, ace male), anxiety repRecommended For...: fae lovers, revenge story, ya fantasyPublication Date: August 25, 2020Genre: YA FantasyRecommended Age: 16+ (death, anxiety, anxiety attacks, parent with mental illness, violence, slight gore, arson, kidnapping)Publisher: Swoon ReadsPages: 336Synopsis: Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.Book: IronsparkAuthor: C.M. McGuireBook Series: StandaloneRating: 4/5Diversity: LGBT characters (f/f and love triangle, ace male), anxiety repRecommended For...: fae lovers, revenge story, ya fantasyPublication Date: August 25, 2020Genre: YA FantasyRecommended Age: 16+ (death, anxiety, anxiety attacks, parent with mental illness, violence, slight gore, arson, kidnapping)Publisher: Swoon ReadsPages: 336Synopsis: For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her family into hiding, Bryn has devoted herself to learning everything she can about killing the Fae. Now it’s time to put those lessons to use.Then the Court Fae finally show up, and Bryn realizes she can’t handle this on her own. Thankfully, three friends offer to help: Gwen, a kindhearted water witch; Dom, a new foster kid pulled into her world; and Jasika, a schoolmate with her own grudge against the Fae.But trust is hard-won, and what little Bryn has gained is put to the test when she uncovers a book of Fae magic that belonged to her mother. With the Fae threat mounting every day, Bryn must choose between faith in her friends and power from a magic that could threaten her very humanity.Review: For the most part this was a good book. The plot was intriguing and the world building was really well done. I also liked the pacing of the book. I really liked the anxiety rep and I'm genuinely intrigued by the mythology.However, the characters were a bit off in my opinion. The fae were.... kinda lackluster and the other characters flat. I also had issues with the "father cursed with mental illness" thing. It felt kinda offensive to me because I have a mother who has anxiety and I had to grow up trying to figure out why my mom would sometimes go off on me unexpectedly and why sometimes she would lock herself in her bedroom for the rest of the day. I never felt like I was cursed or she was cursed by whatever her health though, it was just something I had to learn and adapt to. I got the vibe the author was going for but it kinda hurt. I don't like books where the author uses mental illness as the punishment for a curse or uses it to explain away why people don't believe they're actually seeing the supernatural. It really rubs me the wrong way when mental illness is used as a villain. And while this book wasn’t doing that intentionally, it gave off that vibe.Verdict: It was well done and I liked it overall.
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  • Abbey
    January 1, 1970
    The word that comes to mind when I think of Ironspark is “meh.” It pains me to say that because I really wanted to like it. Dark faeries, kick butt heroine, and a queer love triangle? Sign me up! In reality, though, the faeries felt like they were in the periphery of the plot, the heroine was a static character, and the love triangle felt forced and underdeveloped.When I say the faeries are in the periphery, it seemed that the idea of them drove the plot forward more than their actual presence. The word that comes to mind when I think of Ironspark is “meh.” It pains me to say that because I really wanted to like it. Dark faeries, kick butt heroine, and a queer love triangle? Sign me up! In reality, though, the faeries felt like they were in the periphery of the plot, the heroine was a static character, and the love triangle felt forced and underdeveloped.When I say the faeries are in the periphery, it seemed that the idea of them drove the plot forward more than their actual presence. There were a few moments of action that included some fae, but the prospect of the fae showing up was far more prevalent. We are told Bryn fears these creatures, but they never actually materialize in a way makes the reader fear them along with her.Similarly, I was left longing for the atmosphere that accompanies fae novels. Woods and mystical settings are what I associate with these types of books. Ironspark seems to strive for that in its setting but never quite reaches the mark. Even the dream world seemed to be lacking anything (for lack of a better word) dreamy.What I liked most about this book was the representation in it. Queer fae and queer humans was quite fun to read. The conversation between the trio around 3/4 of the way through the story, where the discussion about their specific identities comes up was a sort of odd addition because up until that point the relationships flowed along with the narrative. Perhaps the most interesting part of this novel could have been the relationship between Bryn and Gwen. I longed for more development there, something that wasn’t just Bryn feeling guilty for dumping Gwen, and Gwen selflessly caring for every injury Bryn had. Adding Jasika in the mix could have been another element that would give the somewhat flat characters a lift, but the stakes are lowered towards the end when Gwen disappears.Overall, this book had so much promise, but it left me wanting. I’d be very interested in reading future novels by this author because I think the voice in the prose itself is quite good. Match that voice up with stronger characters and a more solid setting and I believe it would be an excellent read. Thank you to Netgalley for providing the ARC of this book!
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  • Dai Guerra
    January 1, 1970
    There was so much to love in this book from the world-building to the characters and more. Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours, Netgalley, and SwoonReads for the advanced copy of the book so that I could participate in this book tour.Thoughts and Themes: My favorite part of this book was the world building and the fantasy elements. I loved all the magic that was included throughout the book and how this world got more complex as you read on. I liked learning about all the different fae that Byrd a There was so much to love in this book from the world-building to the characters and more. Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours, Netgalley, and SwoonReads for the advanced copy of the book so that I could participate in this book tour.Thoughts and Themes: My favorite part of this book was the world building and the fantasy elements. I loved all the magic that was included throughout the book and how this world got more complex as you read on. I liked learning about all the different fae that Byrd and her friends encountered and how they all interacted amongst themselves. I thought it was great to see how they all were the same but also very different and some were good and others weren’tCharacters: I loved getting to learn about this world as Dom, Jasika, and Byrd learned new things about it. I enjoyed how the characters exploration of themselves and who they are goes along with them learning about the world they are living in.There’s a scene in which Dom, Byrd, and Jasika are in the church discussing their sexualities which I really enjoyed. I liked how it was a casual conversation that they had with each other and thought the setting was spot on.I loved that this book has asexual representation through Dom and I liked how he’s an asexual who has had sex before. I thought it was great that we got to see that asexuality presents differently for each person. I thought it was also nice to see that Jasika was still figuring things out and Byrd was between bi/pan. It was very refreshing to see them both kind of figuring things out and being okay with not knowing yet.Writing Style: I liked that this book was told in first person perspective because you can see how everything affects Byrd but you don’t see how her actions affect others until its late.
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  • Sophia
    January 1, 1970
    ***ARC review***Sweet, fun, and intriguing, Ironspark is a fantastic story full of mischief and magic. This book has an interesting, relatable, and diverse cast of characters and amazingly well done queer representation. The side characters are well developed and I really love their personalities and the main character has a very interesting arc. The plot started off as fairly unoriginal and uninteresting but then got better and better throughout the book, concluding with huge plot twists and a ***ARC review***Sweet, fun, and intriguing, Ironspark is a fantastic story full of mischief and magic. This book has an interesting, relatable, and diverse cast of characters and amazingly well done queer representation. The side characters are well developed and I really love their personalities and the main character has a very interesting arc. The plot started off as fairly unoriginal and uninteresting but then got better and better throughout the book, concluding with huge plot twists and a cliffhanger that has me on the edge of my seat in anticipation for a book two. The romance was done very well as well. I generally strongly dislike love triangles but C.M. McGuire executes her’s perfectly. It does not dominate the plot in any way and has a mostly clear resolution that still allows for a sweet romance instead of the ongoing battle that is usually seen to go along with love triangles. The magic system and world building, on the other hand, are cool but extremely unoriginal and fairly boring, to be honest. I think it could have been better if the magical side of their world had been explained more thoroughly although the ending of this book did leave a clear opening for delving deeper into this aspect of the story in the next book or books. I did enjoy how multiple classic tales were implemented in this story, though, as well as the descriptions of the many different types of fae. Overall, while Ironspark did not blow my mind I very much enjoyed reading about the adventures of Bryn and her friends and am excited for more.
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  • Becca Mee
    January 1, 1970
    Ironspark is a story about a girl trying to protect her family, friends, and her entire town from a devious Fae queen who will stop at nothing to ensure a blood promise generations old is kept. Bryn has always been an outcast in her little Pennsylvania town because she has her own secrets to keep: since the Fae took her mother nine years ago, Bryn has worked tirelessly to keep everyone around her safe. But when the Court Fae turn their attention toward her family, Bryn must learn to trust those Ironspark is a story about a girl trying to protect her family, friends, and her entire town from a devious Fae queen who will stop at nothing to ensure a blood promise generations old is kept. Bryn has always been an outcast in her little Pennsylvania town because she has her own secrets to keep: since the Fae took her mother nine years ago, Bryn has worked tirelessly to keep everyone around her safe. But when the Court Fae turn their attention toward her family, Bryn must learn to trust those around her in order to take survive. But as the threat grows greater, Bryn uncovers the secret legacy of her mother's involvement with the Fae. Soon, Bryn finds herself grappling with a power and a legacy that seeks to wipe away her own humanity. Ironspark was not at all what I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This book is a dark iteration of Welsh legends of the Fae, a mythology of magic that very heavily features in this story. I found the darkness of the Fae and Bryn's connection with them to be immensely fascinating and satisfying as a reader. I loved Bryn as a character for the kindness of her heart and her desire to protect the people she loves. Ironspark is a fresh iteration of the Fae, one with mad queens, dangerous magic, and a resilient heroine in the middle of it all who will sacrifice everything for the people she cares about.
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  • Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon
    January 1, 1970
    5 CRANKY STARSThis is a book about all kind of goblins and ghoulies terrorizing the houses just outside the woods. The real bad guys in this case are fairies. In our world, fairies are cute little humanlike creatures with wings. In this story, they are evil and look evil. They also like to steal human babies for changelings. Our heroine is Bryn. She has twin twelve-year old brothers. She is in high school. Bryn’s father moved the family to this small town after her Mother’s disappearance. She ha 5 CRANKY STARSThis is a book about all kind of goblins and ghoulies terrorizing the houses just outside the woods. The real bad guys in this case are fairies. In our world, fairies are cute little humanlike creatures with wings. In this story, they are evil and look evil. They also like to steal human babies for changelings. Our heroine is Bryn. She has twin twelve-year old brothers. She is in high school. Bryn’s father moved the family to this small town after her Mother’s disappearance. She had grown up in Wales and her Mother had taught her all about the fairies, goblins, et.al. Here in America, no one knew about these things. She worked with Father Gooding of the local church to fight these hobgoblins and keep the city free of evil. Her father did not know what she was doing, or he would not have allowed it. Fast paced action on every page that will not let you put it down. When the truth comes out, it is up to Bryn to save her family. Nothing is as it seems. Truly an interesting read.
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  • Crystina
    January 1, 1970
    Special thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.Ironspark is a fun adventure story with action at every turn. It's a refreshing addition to the fae-centric fantasy sub-genre of YA, with it being heavily inspired by the more traditional fairy lore. For romance lovers, this book promises a queer love triangle, and while it delivers the romance often takes the backseat to the action. Which is a bit refreshing in itself as romance tends to ove Special thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.Ironspark is a fun adventure story with action at every turn. It's a refreshing addition to the fae-centric fantasy sub-genre of YA, with it being heavily inspired by the more traditional fairy lore. For romance lovers, this book promises a queer love triangle, and while it delivers the romance often takes the backseat to the action. Which is a bit refreshing in itself as romance tends to overshadow the overarching plot. Additionally, this book includes a rarely represented group, with the character Dom being canonically asexual. The book ends in such a way as to set up a sequel with the potential to have an even more riveting adventure, this time in the fae-lands. The final review will be on Geek Declassified August 24, 2020.
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  • Jessica Belmont
    January 1, 1970
    Ironspark was a great novel. I really enjoyed the worldbuilding here. I found the fae lore here to be really intriguing. I found myself having trouble setting this one down.I enjoyed the romance. I think it was really well done, and I was happy to read LGBTQ+ relationships.I think the characters were believable. I found that while the fantasy plot elements were entertaining, this was a character driven novel. Very well written.Overall, I enjoyed Ironspark. Give it a shot for sure.Rating:4/5☆*I r Ironspark was a great novel. I really enjoyed the worldbuilding here. I found the fae lore here to be really intriguing. I found myself having trouble setting this one down.I enjoyed the romance. I think it was really well done, and I was happy to read LGBTQ+ relationships.I think the characters were believable. I found that while the fantasy plot elements were entertaining, this was a character driven novel. Very well written.Overall, I enjoyed Ironspark. Give it a shot for sure.Rating:4/5☆*I received a free copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.*
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  • Jennifer Acres
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a fantastically fun read! I basically breezed through my read because it was so hard to put down! And that ending? I'm gonna need that next book like NOW lol! If I'm being honest, Marshmallow is my favorite character. In this house, we stan Marshmallow This was such a fantastically fun read! I basically breezed through my read because it was so hard to put down! And that ending? I'm gonna need that next book like NOW lol! If I'm being honest, Marshmallow is my favorite character. In this house, we stan Marshmallow <3 I had one little beef with the Ace rep, but honestly, there was Ace rep at all so that had me buzzing. Looking forward to reading more in this series!
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  • Trigger Warning Database
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger & Content Warnings:Ableism & ableist languageAmisia (challenged)Coming out themesParental abandonmentPTSDPanic & anxiety attacksNightmaresParent w/ (implied) schizophrenia & hallucinationsAlcohol consumptionBlood & gore depictionPhysical injuriesHospitalComas (sc)Scalpels mentionedMurder & attempted murderKidnappingHouse fire, fire, and loss of propertyBullying Trigger & Content Warnings:Ableism & ableist languageAmisia (challenged)Coming out themesParental abandonmentPTSDPanic & anxiety attacksNightmaresParent w/ (implied) schizophrenia & hallucinationsAlcohol consumptionBlood & gore depictionPhysical injuriesHospitalComas (sc)Scalpels mentionedMurder & attempted murderKidnappingHouse fire, fire, and loss of propertyBullying
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  • LeaReadsandRants
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsIt was so good. Lesbian MC. Magic and faes. Made me think of The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawaka but with a queer-cast. I love urban fantasy so much. Lesbian love triangle and let me tell you, her ex-girlfriend is a water spirit, pals! Also, asexuality rep and the dumb jock/lesbian friendship of your dreams.UGH, IT WAS SO GOOD I NEED THE SEQUEL.Full review to come
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  • Felicia Mathews
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating 3.5/5. Full review to come.
  • Soudha
    January 1, 1970
    This was so good! One of the best Fae books I've read in a while! Full review coming soon.
  • Chantal Aurora
    January 1, 1970
    omg this sounds amazing I need this.
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